Do You Need an Ear Test

Most of us are advised to get our eyes tested every two years, perhaps more often if you wear glasses, have very poor eyesight or other issues with your eye health that need regular treatment or monitoring. But, we very rarely get our ears tested. You might not have had a hearing test since childhood, and assume that you won’t need to again until you reach old age.

Most of us are guilty of just assuming that our hearing will be fine until we are much older. But, unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Your hearing can start to deteriorate much sooner, sometimes as a result of illness or an accident. Sometimes, hearing loss can be a symptom of an underlying condition which can be treated, and sometimes the damage is permanent. Even if you’ve never considered booking a hearing appointment, here are some of the signs that you should.

Do You Turn the Volume Up?

One of the first signs that our hearing isn’t as good as it used to be is turning the volume up on our TVs, radios or headphones. Some TV shows or songs are naturally quieter than others, and you might find that you need to increase the volume if you’re using headphones in busy, loud places, or if you are contending with other sounds. So don’t worry about the occasional increase. But, if you’ve always had your TV or car radio set to the same number, and suddenly your base level for standard viewing or listening is a few digits higher, it might be a sign that your hearing needs checking, especially if you’ve got no other symptoms, like a cold.

Do You Struggle to Understand Speech?

Another early symptom is struggling to understand speech or having to ask people to repeat themselves when they are speaking to you. Again, occasionally this is normal. We all struggle to hear people in loud environments, and you might have to ask people to repeat if they are mumbling, or have an accent that you aren’t used to. But, you should be able to hear people, and understand what they are saying, most of the time, and in typical situations.

If you find that you are having trouble making out details, or identifying different words, or that you are having to pay particular attention to the shape of peoples mouths to help you to understand, you should consider getting your ears tested.

Are You Tired?

An unexpected sign that you might be having problems with your hearing is tiredness and even exhaustion. It’s hard work when you are suddenly having to put such an effort into listening to people, which used to be something that you did without any thought at all. You might find merely having conversations with people that you love is exhausting because you are working so much harder than you used to.

Do You Have Earache?

Earache isn’t necessarily a sign of hearing loss. It could be a symptom of an infection, a cold, damage to your eardrum, and a few other conditions. If you’ve got an earache with a cold, take some time to look after yourself, and let yourself recover before you worry. But, if the earache doesn’t go away when your other symptoms do, or you have pain with a fever, or no other symptoms at all, you should see your doctor first, who may send you to an audiologist if it’s required.

Are Loud Noises Painful?

Hearing loss or damage can lead to extreme sensitivity. While struggling to hear is often the most obvious symptom, a sensitivity to loud, high pitched, or unusual sounds can be another. If you find that loud noises hurt your ears, you avoid being in noisy places, or you cover your ears when confronted with loud sounds, you might need an ear test.

Do You Experience Ringing or Buzzing?

A ringing or buzzing often accompanies earache, but it can also come on its own. Ringing in your ears can be a symptom of colds and flu, infections, tinnitus and damage to your eardrum. A burst eardrum can heal on its own, but it can also lead to infection, and cause permanent hearing damage. So, if you experience a ringing or buzzing and you haven’t got a cold, head to the doctors or book an ear test as soon as you can.

While hearing loss, whether partial or total, is often treatable if it’s a symptom of another condition or illness, that doesn’t mean that it isn’t important and shouldn’t be looked at. If you notice any changes to your hearing or ear health, make sure you get it checked out as soon as you can.

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